The active form of folate and folic acid Is called L-methylfolate. The body must break down folate and folic acid into this active compound to create DNA. There are also several other benefits of L-methylfolate, such as improving the effectiveness of antidepressants, preventing certain birth defects during pregnancy, and treating a folate deficiency.
Possible Benefits of L-MethylfolateL-methylfolate is the active form of folic acid, which is a water-soluble B vitamin (vitamin B9). It is found in a variety of vitamin products, either alone or in combination with other vitamins. Some of the potential uses of L-methylfolate include:
- Hyperhomocysteinemia (high homocysteine blood levels)
- Folate deficiency
- Diabetic peripheral neuropathy
- Depression (in combination with an antidepressant).
Because it is the active form of folic acid, L-methylfolate could, theoretically, be used as a folic acid replacement. L-methylfolate is likely to be as effective as folic acid; however, there is little evidence to suggest that it would be more effective than folic acid in most people.
In addition, L-methylfolate is an active component of some birth control pills, such as levomefolate calcium in Beyaz®. It is recommended that women of childbearing age take a folate supplement to help prevent birth defects. Adding folate supplementation, such as L-methylfolate, to a birth control pill helps prevent birth defects if a woman becomes pregnant while taking the birth control pill or shortly after stopping it.
(Click Does L-Methylfolate Work? for more information).